While most talk of body image issues in modern culture has to do with women, it’s important for men to be aware of how concerns about penis size may be affecting them. It’s extremely common for men to fret about the length of their members, and this worry can cause significant self-esteem and performance issues, meaning it can have a negative impact on penis health and mental well-being. The phallus is treated by society as a symbol of virility, masculinity and power; this gives men a skewed sense of how long their rods should be. Many of men’s concerns in this department are based on both misconceptions and an unhealthy way of thinking about their bodies. Below, men can learn facts about penis size and function that should help to put groundless fears to rest.

1) What’s Average?

Any large sample of men will yield a wide array of measurements. Generally, people measure the penis when it is erect.

The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) analyzed over 50 studies into penis size conducted since 1942 and involving more than 11,000 penises. They found the average erect penis length to be between 5.5 and 6.3 inches. Interestingly, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicinefound that erection length was partly dependent on the arousing stimulus; men who had oral sex or intercourse had larger erections than those who relied on fantasy to get hard.

2) Growers and Show-ers

The length of the flaccid penis is not an indicator of the length of the organ when it’s erect. Most men are "growers," meaning their rods lengthen significantly when they are aroused. Fewer men are "show-ers," with long flaccid penises that tend to grow less significantly when erect.

3) Vagina Facts

A woman who has not given birth has an average vaginal length of 3 inches, meaning even a short erect penis can fill it. When aroused, the vagina lengthens to about 4 inches; it can further lengthen to accommodate a larger penis, but such a member is not necessary for pleasure. The famous G-spot is located about 3 inches in on the front wall of the vagina; men of just about any length can experiment with positions to provide a female partner with a tantalizing experience.

4) Partner Perceptions

In an article written for NetDoctor.co.uk, Dr. David Delvin and psychotherapist Christine Webber report a very interesting fact about partner perceptions of penis size: Many homosexual men wish they had larger penises, although they don’t want partners with particularly large members. The authors also say that many women are turned off or frightened by unusually large male organs. It is likely that men are far more concerned about the size of their members than their partners are.

5) Enhancement Products

Part of the reason men may feel inadequate downstairs is the barrage of penis enhancement advertisements they are subjected to. Rather than serving a valid need, these products play off men’s fears and self-consciousness. Much like the plethora of beauty products marketed to women can leave them feeling inadequate, penis products can do the same for men. Also, they almost certainly don’t work to make the penis bigger. Remember: Someone is just trying to make money off men’s fears, not provide a needed service.

6) Smoking Shortens the Penis

While there isn’t much that can be done to lengthen the penis (aside from a dangerous surgical procedure), there is something men can do to shorten their members, and that’s cigarette smoking. Smoking interferes with blood flow to the penis, leading to length loss of up to 0.4 inches.

7) No Ideal Length

Just as there is no ideal body type, size or dimension for women, there is no ideal penis length. This is a hard thing for men to accept, given the messages they are surrounded by from childhood on. But the length of the member does not embody a man’s personality, character, strength or sexual prowess. These things are, for the most part, matters of attitude and approach. By adopting a different perspective on his tool, a man can overcome an unnecessary obsession with its size.

There are, however, worthwhile things a man can do to improve the form and function of his member, such as using a high-quality penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Such products contain natural moisturizers (like Shea butter and vitamin E) to soften the penile skin, as well as nutrients (like vitamin C and L-arginine) to support ample blood flow to the member. Men can show their penises some love - whatever their size - with a daily application of nourishing cream.